Health & Medicine as Social Sciences: Creating Healthy Communities

Community Medicine and Public Health

This page explores aspects of medicine not focused on the individual, rather the impacts of health on our community. Community health can be impacted by many outside factors which can in turn affect individual health. Discover more about this relationship below. 

Social determinants of Health

U.S. Health Care Information


Monetary conflicts of interest

Conflicts of Interest occur in every field, including Healthcare. Below are examples of conflict's that occur with Physicians and can influence the level of care that is being delivered to patients.

  • The "fee-for-service" model is used by a vast number of U.S. Physicians and can lead to the selection of more profitable treatments and procedures for patients compared to less profitable ones in addition to increasingly frequent use of the more profitable options. 
  • Increased referrals to specialists or for procedures is seen when a Physician is able to refer a patient to their own lab or a third party company they are associated with. It is difficult to analyze such practices to see if this increase is actually beneficial for patients. 
  • Unnecessary and more advanced procedures can have non-monetary costs or negative impacts for patients. Most medical procedures have risks associated with them and waiting for results can cause unneeded stress for the patient and their family. 

It can be difficult for Physicians to acknowledge that their business model could be negatively impacting their own patient care decisions. A possible solution to these conflicts of interest that reduces the focus on the business side of medicine is implementing a salary payment style for Physicians as opposed to a 'fee-for-service" style. This could decrease any indirect focus on volume of service business model and monetary reward associated with it, which has the likelihood of leading to better patient care.

Information paraphrased from Source 1.

The cost of healthcare

  • Last Updated: May 21, 2024 8:25 AM
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